This Week in Public Policy - November 12 - 16, 2018

This Week in Public Policy provides a summary of policy and legislation in Ohio and at the federal level that is of interest to people with disabilities.

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In Ohio

On Tuesday, November 13, 2018, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to pass House Bill 309 (Blindness – Guardianship and Adoption). The bill would make it illegal for an individual’s blindness to be used to deny or limit custody, parenting time, visitation, adoption, or services as a guardian or foster caregiver of a minor. ALL witnesses are invited to testify. The committee received written testimony from Shirley Williams representing Prevent Blindness – Ohio.

On Tuesday, November 13, 2018, the Senate Health, Human Services and Medicaid Committee held its 4th Hearing on House Bill 119 (SNAP and Medicaid Benefits). The bill creates a “change in circumstances” scenario that would require SNAP or Medicaid to re-verify eligibility for services. The change in circumstances could be suspected fraud or the receipt of any information that is considered valid for review of eligibility. No testimony was offered.

On Wednesday, November 14, 2018, the House Health Committee will held sponsor testimony on House Bill 659 (Prescription Drug Reader). The bill would require pharmacies to provide, at the request of a customer, a prescription drug reader for any prescription of a controlled substance, to assist individuals who are visually impaired, for the period of the prescription. State Representative Richard Brown testified the bill is modeled after a law passed in Nevada and is supported by the National Federation of the Blind.

On Wednesday, November 14, 2018, the Ohio Senate voted 32-0 to pass Senate Bill 243 (Medicaid Co-Payments Eliminated for DD/SMI). The bill eliminates the requirement to pay a co-pay for Medicaid services for an individual with a developmental disability or with a serious mental illness whose sole source of income is either SSDI or SSI. The bill will be sent to the Ohio House of Representatives for consideration.

On Thursday, November 15, 2018, the Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee received a presentation from Optumas. Optumas is an actuary that provides independent analysis of the fiscal status of Medicaid and Medicaid programs for the committee. The report indicates that Medicaid costs are expected to rise within a range of 2.8% in 2020 and 2.9% in 2021 on the low end, and 4.5% on the high end. The Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee is expected to vote on approving a final report to submit to the General Assembly in December.

In Washington

On Tuesday, November 13, 2018, the Alliance for Aging and Research, along with a collection of other organizations, issued a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) urging adoption of Shared Decision-making standards in healthcare. The letter can be found here.

Next Week in Public Policy: November 19 - 23, 2018

In 1782, the Continental Congress issued the first declaration of Thanksgiving, approving a proclamation that stated the following:

By the United States in Congress assembled, PROCLAMATION.

It being the indispensable duty of all nations, not only to offer up their supplications to Almighty God, the giver of all good, for His gracious assistance in a time of distress, but also in a solemn and public manner, to give Him praise for His goodness in general, and especially for great and signal interpositions of His Providence in their behalf; therefore, the United States in Congress assembled, taking into their consideration the many instances of Divine goodness to these States in the course of the important conflict, in which they have been so long engaged, – the present happy and promising state of public affairs, and the events of the war in the course of the year now drawing to a close; particularly the harmony of the public Councils which is so necessary to the success of the public cause, – the perfect union and good understanding which has hitherto subsisted between them and their allies, notwithstanding the artful and unwearied attempts of the common enemy to divide them, – the success of the arms of the United States and those of their allies, – and the acknowledgment of their Independence by another European power, whose friendship and commerce must be of great and lasting advantage to these States; Do hereby recommend it to the inhabitants of these States in general, to observe and request the several states to interpose their authority, in appointing and commanding the observation of THURSDAY the TWENTY-EIGHTH DAY OF NOVEMBER next as a day of SOLEMN THANKSGIVING to GOD for all His mercies; and they do further recommend to all ranks to testify their gratitude to God for His goodness by a cheerful obedience to His laws and by promoting, each in his station, and by his influence, the practice of true and undefiled religion, which is the great foundation of public prosperity and national happiness.

Done in Congress at Philadelphia, the eleventh day of October, in the year of our LORD, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-two, and of our Sovereignty and Independence, the seventh.


Happy Thanksgiving!